Your Resume Should Have These Ten Items

John Krautzel
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Although you need to customize your professional resume for every job opening, it's OK to use a resume template to ensure you don't skip any important information. Whether you're updating your resume or writing one from scratch, make sure you have these 10 things covered before you send the document out to potential employers.

1. Contact Information

The hiring manager needs a way to contact you for a phone screen or to set up an interview. Include your name, address, telephone number and email address at the top of the page.

2. Educational History

The right education can help you land a job, so don't forget to include all of the degrees you've earned and certifications you've completed. If you are still in school, indicate that your degree is in progress.

3. Interesting Language

Using a resume template doesn't relieve you of the need to inject a little personality into your professional resume. Show off your personality by using action verbs and engaging sentences.

4. Job History

Your professional resume should include the jobs most relevant to the position you are seeking. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to list every job you've ever held unless you are applying for a government position requiring an extensive background check.

5. Smart Formatting

There's more than one way to format your professional resume. The right format displays your work history and skills in an attractive manner. If you have a lot of work experience, a chronological resume is usually the best format to use. A functional resume is a better choice if you are just starting out in the field or returning to work after a long gap due to illness or family obligations.

6. Professional Skills

Make sure your professional resume lists skills relevant to the jobs for which you are applying. If you are applying for an accounting position, for example, potential employers probably don't need to know about your ability to use a forklift.

7. Eye-Catching Layout

You want hiring managers to remember you for the right reasons, so don't go overboard with fancy fonts or colorful text. If you decide to use a border to highlight your qualifications, pick something simple. The hiring manager should focus on your qualifications for the job, not your ability to choose design elements.

8. Good Writing

Submitting a professional resume full of errors is a good way to ruin your job hunt. Don't send out your resume until you proofread it carefully and correct any typos or grammatical errors.

9. Cover Letter

Your resume should be accompanied by a cover letter outlining your interest in the job. The text of your cover letter should show the hiring manager why you deserve a chance at an interview.

10. Headings

Bold headings break up your resume and make it easier for hiring managers to scan for the information they need. Include headings for your educational history, work experience and professional qualifications.

A professional resume is the key to getting the job you really want. Make the document work to your advantage by giving hiring managers all the information they need to assess you as a candidate.

Photo courtesy of renjith krishnan at



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